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Tuesday, July 1, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 1, 2003 (VIS) - Today John Paul II received the Letters of Credence from Abdulhafed Gaddur, the new Head of Mission of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

In his speech in Italian, the Holy Father affirmed that "courageous and persevering dialogue is especially useful to confront the many existing tensions in the world that concern us and require active collaboration on all sides to be resolved, keeping in mind the fundamental principles of truth, justice, love, and freedom." The Pope went on to refer to "the situation in the Middle East that is very much on my mind; terrorism which may indiscriminately strike any part of the world and which makes cities, peoples and even all of humanity insecure; conflicts that prevent the inhabitants of many regions of Africa from developing; unequal distribution of the goods of the land and of the fruits of technological, human and spiritual research."

"Dialogue," he continued, "based on solid moral law, facilitates the resolution of conflicts and promotes respect for life and for all human beings."

John Paul II emphasized that the "Church, conscious of the role that religion plays in consolidating the culture of coexistence and of reciprocal understanding and active collaboration, wants to advance the mission of peace, urging everyone to take on the responsibility of caring for others in order to build a fairer, more united and free world. This testimony," he added, "is offered by the small but active Catholic community in Libya," which "wants to continue its activity, cultivating the spirit of fraternal communion, service to one's neighbor, with a discreet and loving presence."

After expressing his gratitude to the authorities and to the entire Libyan people for their respect for the Church's mission, the Pope said: "A sincere will for honest collaboration constitutes the foundation for fruitful cooperation among believers and among all human beings. This is valid, in particular," he concluded, "for followers of Islam and Christianity. Faced by attempts to falsify religion and an illegitimate use of sacred traditions, it is necessary to remember that practices that incite violence and lack of respect for human life are against God and man."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 1, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul's general prayer intention for the month of July is: "That governments and those responsible for the economy and finance of the world, may make an effort to find modalities and conditions which guarantee all peoples the necessary means to live in a dignified way."

His missionary intention is: "That all those in Africa who are sick - the victims of AIDS and other serious diseases - may experience the consolation and love of God thanks to the services of the doctors and those who lovingly take care of them."

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 1, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Erected the new ecclesiastical province of Palembang, Indonesia, dividing it from the ecclesiastical province of Medan, Indonesia. The new ecclesiastical province will consist of the suffragen dioceses of Pangkal-Pinang and Tanjungkarang.

- Appointed Bishop Aloysius Sudarso, S.C.I., of Palembang, Indonesia, as metropolitan archbishop of the same archdiocese. (area 157,000, population 11,000,000, Catholics 77,000, priests 72, religious 227), Indonesia.

- Appointed Bishop Sean P. O'Malley, O.F.M.Cap., of Palm Beach (U.S.A.), as metropolitan archbishop of Boston (area 6,382, population 3,888,944, Catholics 2,060,225, priests 1,678, permanent deacons 209, religious 3,759,), U.S.A. The archbishop-elect was born in Ohio in 1944 and made his solemn profession of vows as a Capuchin in 1968. He was ordained a priest in 1970 and a bishop in 1984.

- Appointed Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito of Ogdensburg, U.S.A., as bishop of Palm Beach (area 11,510, population 1,599,467, Catholics 246,040, priests 140, permanent deacons 43, religious 182), U.S.A.

- Appointed Bishop Thomas Gerard Wenski, auxiliary of Miami, U.S.A., as coadjutor bishop of Orlando (area 27,900, population 3,360,319, Catholics 353,342, priests 221, permanent deacons 130, religious 195), U.S.A.

- Appointed Msgr. Juan Jose Dorronsoro Allo, canon of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, as consultor of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for the section of Secular Institutes.

- Appointed Msgr. Arnaldo Fraccaroli as consultor of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church.

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VATICAN CITY, JUL 1, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- The Presidency of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference:

- Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia, president.

- Bishop Antonio Celso Queiroz of Catanduva, vice-president.

- Bishop Odilo Pedro Scherer, auxiliary of Sao Paulo, secretary general.

- Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, apostolic nuncio in Argentina.

- Three prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Joji Marampudi of Hyderbad.

- Bishop Thumma Bala of Warangal.

- Bishop John Baptist Sequeira of Chikmagalur.

- Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council of Culture, accompanied by Frs. Bernard Ardura, O. Praem., and Fabio Duque Jaramillo, O.F.M., respectively secretary and undersecretary of the same pontifical council.

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